HTC is throwing in the towel with regard to its entry-level smartphone strategy, instead electing to focus its handset portfolio on high-margin, flagship devices.
During the call, HTC CFO Chia-Lin Chang described the entry-level market as ultra-competitive and one that would provide no benefit to them from a productivity standpoint. As such, they plan to trim the portfolio down to between six and seven devices in 2017. HTC will, however, continue to sell and support budget-minded phones already in the channel.
Mid- and high-end devices like the upcoming U Play and U Ultra, for example, will arrive as scheduled in March. The high-end HTC 11, which is rumored to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, is also in the pipeline.
While the low-end is no doubt competitive, the flagship market may offer even stiffer competition.
In 2017, we're expecting to see what's looking to be an excellent device in the Samsung Galaxy S8 in just over a month and a redesigned iPhone from Apple later this fall. Companies like LG, Huawei and Sony will also pepper the market with high-end devices in the coming months, bolstering what is shaping up to be one of the more exciting product cycles in recent smartphone history.